The Road to Economic Justice
By Jerome J. Peloquin,
The day before Thanksgiving I sat in an office on the infamous “K” street here in the District. I sat with Rock Anderson and several others as we formed The Justice Party of The United States of America. As a founding member, I felt compelled to resign when principles were compromised for the sake of expediency. I wrote the following speech … it was never given. I share it now as it is more relevant, even poignant given the events of recent months than when it was written last November.
Sixty odd years ago President Eisenhower predicted the hegemony of the Military/Industrial Complex. He warned of its power to control and manipulate our government. He was not the first President to warn us of the power of concentrated capital to subvert our freedom and our democracy. Let me see how many of you can tell me which President said this … "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption will follow and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and then the Republic is destroyed."
Answer: President Abraham Lincoln, in a letter to Col. William F. Elkins dated November 21, 1864, Reference: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (MacMillan, 1950 NY)
How close are we to the realization of Lincoln’s prescient observation. Perilously close, I fear.
Freedom is the foundation; it is the platform, the basis upon which the American dream was built. Freedom is the right to control your own destiny, Freedom from coercion and intimidation. The Freedom to pursue your dream
The 1% have Freedom. Why not? They own more than the bottom 90% combined. Why would they not be free?. Their children never know want, they go to the best schools and universities and, when their parents pass on, they leave them all of the wealth accumulated over generations. Yes, the 1% are free. As Billie Holiday … songstress and noted economist once said, “… god bless the child that has their own.” The One Percent has their own … How about The Rest of US?
THE REST OF US will never know THAT level of freedom. We do not know what it means to be beholden to NO MAN, For the Rest of Us … we are dependent upon The Man for our paycheck! The 1% do not live from paycheck to paycheck. In fact they do not get or need paychecks. They get dividend checks and profits not from labor or work, like The Rest of us, but from the accumulated capital, the private property they own! In fact, the plain truth is, that we, the 90%, those of us, that is most of us, who get a paycheck are not really free at all. Let me quote the late Dr. Mortimer Adler economic philosopher, who, in a TV interview back in 1958, said. “A man cannot be a good citizen who is dependent upon the goodwill of another man, for his sustenance.”
And now let’s talk about … The Money!
It is all about the money! (repeat and ask the question, again) So, we’ve tried a number of economic systems over the history of our planet. Socialism, Communism, and now our present system which we can call, Capitalism.
Tell me, how’s this working out for you anyway … If you’re like most working people you have seen your pensions and investments, Your money, Your property, lose between 30% to 40% in value. Where did that value, that money go? … ? Huh? That’s how it became 1%
If we’re going to talk about money and property let’s define some terms first. Money is not just cash, or what you get from a bank. Under the law, Money is defined as anything we use to satisfy a debt. Cash, barter, a swap, commodities like gold, stamps, or even pork bellies … anything one person will accept as fair value for a debt. Property is something that you can own and control ie; Your House, The stuff in your house, The stock or shares in a business, or in company that you own, your stock portfolio if you have one. There’s other property, of course, intellectual property as represented by patents and copyrights. Money is also the way we express the value of property. When asked, how much is that worth? Our answer reflects the value in money of that item or property. I guess you can see here that Freedom, in America is closely linked to property and money, or, money and property … you call it.
A comprehensive understanding of money is of primary importance to The Rest of Us, the 90%. Because the 1% uses money and the political power of money to unbalance the playing field, to pass laws favorable to them. Ultimately to deprive us, the 90% of our fair share of the bounty of this country, to devalue our labor, devalue our citizenship. And shirk the payment of their fair share of taxes.
Baron Rothschild whose family controlled the European banking system for generations once said, “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” That statement alone puts into perspective just who is driving this country’s domestic, economic, and geopolitical policies. The truth is that money is power and the 1% really don’t care about who makes the laws because, like our Baron Rothschild … the 1% control the money.
Let me stop here and assure you that I am not against employers or business owners, or industries of any kind. I am a strong believer in free enterprise and profit. But ... I am making the point, that what we have here in America is NOT Free enterprise It Is monopoly capitalism, when 1% control 90% of the capital,what else can you call it? Freedom, true freedom means economic freedom and democracy, true democracy means economic democracy. In the end it is about money and property. It has always been that way.
We said in the beginning, that Freedom is the right to make our own choices without interference or coercion. It is the right to be free from dependence. The founders knew the value of private property. They knew that ownership and control of private property is the key to personal independence and freedom. It is why ownership of private PROPERTY has been enshrined in our constitution and further defined in our laws.
Our present economic system has been designed to keep private property and Money in the hands of the 1%. Money and property are the tools that the 1% use to secure their Freedom and create the legal and institutional barriers that block us from it. They are effective and brutally efficient. The 1% control this system and we are its unwitting victims. By accepting these conditions, we become conspirators in our own economic servitude.
Unless we are willing to anoint the 1% as the ruling class … that system has to change. The question is how do we do it without causing class warfare, without violent revolution. We cannot look to our government to help us here. Both parties are deep in the pockets of the 1%. Redistributing some of the money using the tax system has obviously failed. One reason is the 1% have rejiggered the tax laws to favor themselves. The rich do not pay their fair share of taxes. In fact they want more tax breaks, a bigger share of the private property and money. They, the 1%, trade their money for power and the politicians, who come begging for campaign contributions, give the 1% the laws they want. That’s how they became the !%.
So, what is the solution? Well, It certainly is not Communism or Socialism, what is it then? It is NOT the present monopoly by the few. We believe it is a Third Way … The Just Third Way - The foundation of the Just Third Way is Economic Justice, A New Economic Democracy driven by a Declaration of Monetary Justice.
We cannot redistribute the wealth, but we can redistribute the opportunity and that is the fundamental basis of our policy initiative. Our policy solution is embodied in The Capital Homestead Act, A policy initiative developed by The Center for Economic and Social Justice in Arlington, VA. This approach represents a holistic and comprehensive solution that will inject billions of dollars in new money into our economy, not at the top, but at the bottom. Unlike the voodoo economics of the past, it will create new capital investment in small growing businesses and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. The alternative is to continue this accumulation of property and money in the hands of the 1%. It is a one-way slide to a Soviet style totalitarian system where both money and the coercive power of the government are in the hands of the same people. That’s when the 1% become the 100% and have all the money and all the power, we The 99% then go to Zero!